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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mall of America, Part 2

Friday morning we had breakfast at the hotel, let Diva splash around in the pool, and were ready and waiting when the Mall opened at 10a.m.  We were planning to meet my Aunt Nade, my late daddy's sister, at the Mall at some point during the day, so I told Walker and Diva if they wanted to go on some rides they should do that right away.  I didn't know what time Nade would be joining us but I didn't think she'd enjoy hanging out in Nickelodeon Universe while Walker and Diva went on nausea inducing amusement park rides.  I didn't have to tell them twice ~ they took off for the park like their butts were on fire and spent the next hour happily making themselves dizzy on rides like the Brain Surge, which spun them upside down while also spinning them in a circle, the Log Chute, which floated them around a serene log camp scene before dropping them, in their log boat, forty feet down into a "splash pond", the Splat-O-Sphere, which lifts them 60 feet into the air on a dangling cage before dropping them back down, and all three of the Mall of America roller coasters.

Before the big plunge on the Log Chute
This thing spins upside down and backwards while it revolved around a center pole.  Yikes!
One of the reasons I like to do this trip on Diva's school break is that the Minneapolis schools are always in session.  In other words, she was the only kid her age at the park that morning.  There were lots of little kids on the little kid rides, but Walker and Diva were able to avoid waiting in line the whole time they played at the amusement park.

After the rides, Diva, who apparently has a cast iron stomach, decided she was hungry.  So off we went to the food court for lunch.  My mom had a banana split - just a banana split - declaring it was a fine lunch, with her fruit and dairy requirements met.  Um, okay, Mom, LOL.  She sure didn't use that reasoning when I was growing up.  Diva was disappointed to see that the kid spa was gone, but we found a nail salon that had an immediate opening and she treated herself to her very first manicure.  I love the little daisies.

Aunt Nade showed up about that time, so we zipped over to her parking area to pick her up.  I just love Nade, and we don't get to see her often enough.  She's been having mobility issues, and my mom has mobility issues, so they were content to sit together, chatting away, at various locations around the Mall while Diva, Walker, and I shopped for shoes, hunted down bargains on cold weather clothes, chose gifts for the family at home, and played with the cosmetics at Sephora.

Lego sculpture at Lego Land

Diva told me that she wasn't allowed to go on one of the attractions in the amusement park because she was wearing a skort (like a skirt with shorts built in).  The attraction required her to be strapped into a harness and she had to have her legs covered.  So we found her some cute leggings at Old Navy, had her change in the store, and went back to Nickelodeon Universe where Walker and Diva climbed an obstacle course designed, I'm sure, to cause old aunties to have nervous breakdowns when they watch.  This kid climbed 56 feet into the air on tightropes, floating bridges, and I honestly don't know what else but everything swayed and there were no railings.  She was attached to a rope that was hooked to her harness but I can't imagine doing anything like that, let alone thinking it was fun.  At the top she had to walk out onto a plank and ring a bell, then she had to make her way back down through the same kinds of obstacles she conquered going up.

See my kid?  She's at the top of the center pole.  Really!

See? And yes, I pretty much held my breath until she got down, LOL.
My mom and Aunt Nade watched the climb with me, but I doubt they were as nervous as I was because my mom, God bless her, fell asleep. Of course I had to take a photo of that, too, but I think I'd be grounded for life if I posted it here.  So after Diva took twelve years off my life with her mega climb, we headed to Build-A-Bear where we - you guessed it! - built a couple teddy bears.  Well, actually, a bear and a kitty.

The first time I saw a Build-A-Bear, the un-stuffed teddies were hanging from a clothes line across the store, pinned up by their ears.  I remember being horrified at the sight of all the disemboweled bears.  I could not believe anyone would bring a child there. These days, they have shelves with samples of the bears all stuffed up; the un-stuffed ones are folded into a bin.  Much better.  Anyway: the bears were buy one, get one free, so Diva chose her bear and I picked out an orange kitty for myself.  We stuffed them, put in a little red fabric heart, and had them stitched up.  Diva gave them each a brushing and a bath (with an air hose) and it was off to the dressing room.  Diva's bear ended up with a pair of Chinese pajamas, and my kitty left the store decked out in a denim mini skirt and sparkly tee shirt.

Dinner was next on the agenda, so we wandered upstairs to a beach grill called Kokomo.  The food was great, the atmosphere was festive, and it was quiet enough that we could all have a nice visit. We had a really nice time.

That was pretty much it.  We walked Nade back to her car after dinner, then Walker and Diva went on a couple more rides.  Diva, who has been saving for this trip since July, still had more than half her money, so we stopped back at Sephora where she purchased some nail polish in a kitty shaped bottle.  We were pretty much wiped out when we got back to the hotel, but Diva and I went to the pool anyway.  I thought a little soak in one of the hot tubs would sooth my tired legs.  Unfortunately, there was a problem with the chemicals in the tub I chose.  Here's what gets me:  half a dozen adults watched me walk over to the hot tub, dip a toe in, then climb down the stairs and sink into the water.  A minute later, when my throat started burning and this weird chemical smell hit my nose I jumped out and that was when they told me that there had been a "do not use" sign on that hot tub.  I don't know what happened to the sign but honestly?  What did they hope to accomplish by waiting until after I got in to tell me?  One guy said he'd gotten in, too, before he was told.  Guess he was recycling the bad karma.  Nice. I could still smell that chemical smell on my skin after I showered.  If I suddenly sprout a third eye guess I know why.


  1. Glad you guys had a good time. Looks like a real fun place. Good pictures. :)

  2. Sounds like you all had a ball. Please, no third eye. Good pictures a handsome hubby to.

  3. What a wonderful vacation. I'm glad you had such a good time. I must say my heart was in my stomach hearing about your Diva climbing 56 feet into the air on tightropes and floating bridges. I agree. "I can't imagine doing anything like that, let alone thinking it was fun." Glad she enjoyed it. Take care.